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The Small Museum

The Small Museum

Author(s): Jody Cooksley

Location(s): London, Dorset

Genre(s): Fiction, Crime, Mystery

Era(s): Victorian

A chilling historical mystery set against the gothic backdrop of Victorian London, The Small Museum won the Caledonia Novel Award in 2023 and is inspired by the extraordinary treasure trove of curiosities that is the Hunterian Museum in London.

London, 1873. Madeleine Brewster’s marriage to Dr Lucius Everley was meant to be the solution to her family’s sullied reputation. After all, Lucius is a well-respected collector of natural curiosities, his ‘Small Museum’ of bones and things in jars is his pride and joy, although kept under lock and key. His sister Grace’s philanthropic work with fallen women is also highly laudable. However, Maddie is confused by and excluded from what happens in what is meant to be her new home.

Maddie’s skill at drawing promises a role for her though when Lucius agrees to let her help him in making a breakthrough in evolutionary science, a discovery of the first ‘fish with feet’. But the more Maddie learns about both Lucius and Grace, the more she suspects that unimaginable horrors lie behind their polished reputations. Framed for a crime that would take her to the gallows and leave the Everleys unencumbered, Maddie’s only hope is her friend Caroline Fairly. But will she be able to put the pieces together before the trial reaches its fatal conclusion?

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